Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Do you know we still have our Christmas tree up? It's the one we moved outdoors after the Christmas and New Year holiday. Balsam. Cut on our land. It has barely lost any needles. Stood in a cask of water that became ice that became water (last week when it reached 80 degrees) and is now blowing down in the returned late March winds no matter how many times we pick it up to stand again. Live this long as a cut tree, defying death and persevering with small Christmas lights on you, and yes we begin to treat you as if you are a small, green figure of a person. We pick you up every time you fall.

Same as these hemlock 4 x 4 timbers. Found when we returned last Saturday after a day of errands in a few towns. Came up the bumpity-bump-bump road south along the river, mud rutted, mud flattened, not so bad at all as decades of other times this road this time of year was always mud hellish. Came up the dirt hill drive to home and there in the dooryard, as if waiting (they are) the half dozen hemlock timbers. Blonde and very heavy. They "smell" to anyone who doesn't know lumber, fresh cut. The timbers were a tree just a few hours earlier. A tree I cut down and set to the side of the road after Hurricane Irene. A friend with a tractor and willpower was all up for my offer when I said,

"How about you take the logs and saw them out at your place? We'll split the lumber 50-50." Big shouldered he nodded with a smile and we both liked that idea. Mountains move when more than two smile and like an idea. Tractor away up the road last Fall the friend went. I knew I wouldn't see him or the timbers until spring. So he was right on time.

But still, seeing the timbers stacked so nicely and never called for, was a nice surprise.

photo © bob arnold